3 Things the Death Positivity Movement Can Teach Us About Life

Monday, April 12, 2021

People don't like accepting death. A 2017 survey found that more than 20 percent of Americans are afraid of dying. Nearly 40 percent are afraid of their loved ones dying. 

Yet death is a component of life. No matter how hard we try, each and every one of us is going to die. We need to adopt death positivity. 

Death positivity is not cheering when someone dies. Death positivity is accepting your death and working to live as positive a life as possible. It may sound counterintuitive, but it can make your life worth living. 

Not convinced? Here are three things that death acceptance teaches us about life. 

1. Make the Most Out of Life

The expression, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life," has been repeated so many times it has lost its power. But the death positive movement reminds us of the urgency of that phrase. 

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and your life will end. When you're dead, you cannot travel, make art, or fall in love. You should take the first opportunity that comes your way to do those things. 

Go out and do something important. Run for political office, make an invention, and write that screenplay you've always wanted to write. You only have so long to do so.  

2. Work to Affirm Disenfranchised Communities

At its core, the death positive movement is about helping others. The Order of the Good Death is the leading organization within the movement. They adopt eight tenets, one of which is "I believe that the laws that govern death... should ensure that a person's wishes are honored, regardless of sexual, gender, racial or religious identity."

Demographic divides continue to impact considerations of death. Leaders in the death positive movement are working to incorporate BIPOC, LGBTQ, and other disenfranchised groups into their activism. The Collective for Radical Death Studies combines death studies with anti-racist work. 

It can be easy for white people to accept their deaths. BIPOC may struggle to do so because they live under the fear of white supremacy. That discrepancy reminds us of the work we must complete to ensure social justice. 

3. Plan Ahead

When you've accepted your death, you're able to make plans for what you want to do in life. You have a deadline you will meet. You can plan toward that deadline.

That includes making preparations for your end-of-life and funeral. You can draft a will and decide who should get what. 

You can pick your funeral arrangements. Rather than have a somber occasion, you can have a celebration of life. Your friends and family can gather and share memories of the life you've lived. 

Life is all about planning ahead. We save up money to pay our next bill. We can do the same thing for the end of our lives. 

The Importance of Death Positivity

Death positivity really can improve your life. It can be a source of inspiration. When you've only got one chance to live, you should make the most of it. 

It can inspire you to work for social justice. BIPOC and LGBTQ people fear death because of institutionalized prejudice. For them to accept death, we must remove that prejudice. 

It can also encourage you to plan ahead. You can make arrangements for your old age and memorial services now. 

When you're ready to make those plans, turn to the experts. Schumacher and Benner is Pottstown's leading funeral home. Contact us today.

Since 1905, families in the Greater Pottstown area have turned to the independent, family-owned Schumacher and Benner Funeral Home & Crematory to meet their funeral needs with professionalism and sensitivity.  

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